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It was the first morning of my work experience and as I sat on the
bench outside Thorntons and the nerves started to kick in. As the
shutters started to rise, a burst of mixed emotions entered me. I was
scared, excited, worried and a host of other feeling wriggled around
inside me. I walked in the shop stiff with nerves. As I introduced
myself to the assistant manager I kept missing out words as I was
speaking because I was so flustered with the experience of it all. As
she sorted out something for me to do, I was apprehensive of what was
going to happen next.
Suddenly a customer walked in and my heart skipped a beat. I was
hesitant that they would ask me a question and I wouldn't know the
answer. The customer came up to me and asked me where the diabetic
chocolate was and all I could do was apologising because I didn't know
the answer; I had only been there for five minutes.
As the customer left, I felt angry with myself because I had not taken
in the layout of the shop quickly enough, I felt guilty because the
customer left without their goods and concerned that my boss might
give me a negative comment about it. Luckily, my boss didn't see this
happen so I sighed in relief. As the hours went by I stacked shelves
and mainly served customers on the till. Every time I made a little
mistake I was uneasy at the thought that I would get told off. Finally
lunch time arrived and I set off to find my friend who was working in
a shop around the corner. We bought our lunch and sat down to eat it
in the town centre. It was surreal seeing all the working people
walking around and thinking that's going to be us in a few years time.
It was strange seeing lots of people and not knowing who they are and
not being in the usual group of people day in and day out.
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contemplating how life will be for the next three weeks I realised it
was time for me to go back to work. We said out goodbyes and returned
to our place of work. The afternoon flew by as I was busy stacking
shelves. In next to no time it was time to go home. I got on the bus
and thought about how my first day had been. It was fearful because of
the mistakes I could have made, exciting because it made me feel like
a grown-up and strange because it was a new experience.
During the three weeks I learnt how to use a till which will be useful
in any shop work I choose to do. I learnt how to wrap presents which
is useful because I learnt which colours complement each other. I
learnt how to write in icing in chocolate which isn't particularly
useful but is a handy skill to have, I also learnt how to do stock
takes which is useful because I learned about what goes on behind the
scenes in a shop.
I worked with everyone in the shop because it's a small shop, its like
a little community, everyone knows everyone's business. My manager was
called Angie and she was in your face and bubbly. She was obsessed
with Euro 2004 and didn't stop talking about football. The assistant
manager was called Jo and she was a bit quieter but sometimes got into
fits of giggles, she worked in the office and did paperwork so I
didn't see her much. The new girl was called Michelle and she had been
working there three weeks before I arrived. She was very scatty and
kept forgetting things but was good to talk to. I ended up showing her
how things work and what to do! The other person I worked with was
called Lyndsey, she was young and energetic, always full of life, she
greeted every customer who walked through the door with a smile and a
hello, believe me, that's hard to keep up!
I think work experience is valuable because it shows you an insight
into the working world and gives you a taste of what its going to be
like when you start work for real.
If I could have changed anything then I would have made sure there
were more jobs for me to do because when there weren't any customers
it got extremely boring at times. There was sometimes nothing to do
but stand in the shop.
On my last day, like my first day, I felt mixed emotions. I was happy
because I didn't have the long days anymore and I missed seeing my
friends everyday but I was sad because I was going to miss the people
I worked with and the freedom I had.
I would say to any person doing work experience, enjoy it while you
can because when it's gone you will miss it. Use the freedom to your
advantage, go out to a different place to eat everyday and alternate
your routine, this will make days less boring and repetitive.
Furthermore, take notes on your first day so you don't have to keep
asking the same questions because you forget the answer.